How can chitosan be used in food sciences?
Chitosan is approved as a dietary supplement in many countries, including Europe, Japan, and the USA. A health claim related to the maintenance of normal blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations has been approved for chitosan by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). Currently the most prominent dietary application of chitosan as a food supplement is its use as a fat blocker even though the scientific basis for this application is weak at best. But because of its proven antimicrobial activity, chitosan can also be used as a preservative preventing microbial growth in food. For the same reason, chitosan treatments can prevent post-harvest spoilage of fruits and vegetables during storage and transport. Chitosan is also a film-forming biopolymer, and transparent chitosan films have been used successfully as a food packaging material and as edible films.